Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 31

How Saul died

1 Samuel 31:5

Saul did not die easily; his death was slow, difficult and painful.

First, an enemy shot an arrow into him. That arrow caused a serious injury, so he was bleeding badly.

Saul was too weak to escape, so he urged his guard to kill him. However, the guard refused; he was too afraid to do it. So Saul took his own sword and he pushed it into his own body.

It seems that Saul then became unconscious. He seemed dead. His guard killed himself, probably because he had failed in his duty to protect the king’s life.

We think that Saul was actually unconscious then, and not dead, because of the account in 2 Samuel 1:5-10. That was the account of a robber, who came to steal valuable objects from the dying men.

The robber said that he found Saul still alive, but alone. Saul was still trying to kill himself. He was especially desperate because another group of Philistia’s soldiers was approaching. He was trying to push a spear (a pole with a sharp metal point) into his body. However, he did not have the strength to do it.

When Saul saw the robber, he called him. Saul then asked the robber to kill him. The robber did that, and he then stole some precious objects from Saul’s body. He took those things to David. He hoped that David would reward him; in fact, David ordered his death as a punishment. It was a very wicked act to kill the king whom God had appointed to rule his (God’s) people.

Next part: The results of the battle (1 Samuel 31:6-7)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.